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Aquatic Botanist

Aquatic Botanist

Hybrid (Lacey, WA) - Full Time, Mid to Senior Level

Aquatic Botanist (Natural Resource Scientist 3)


$61,224.00 - $80,292.00 Annually


Thurston County – Lacey, WA

Job Type

Full Time - Permanent

Remote Employment



Dept. of Ecology

Job Number



Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Environmental Assessment Program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a Aquatic Botanist (Natural Resource Scientist 3) position. This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.

In this role, you will serve as the senior program expert on freshwater aquatic plants and invasive non-native aquatic plants. You will performs natural resource research work to manage, coordinate, and conduct high priority monitoring and assessment projects related to invasive aquatic plants in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. As an expert in freshwater invasive aquatic plants, you will provide technical assistance to local governments and citizen groups related to aquatic plant assessment and management. Additionally, you will serve as the main program contact on other invasive aquatic organisms and procedural requirements for field gear decontamination to minimize the spread of invasive species.

Your role will be inside Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program (EAP) under the Statewide Coordination Section (Toxics Studies Unit or TSU). EAP’s mission is to measure, assess, and communicate environmental conditions in Washington. We work to improve the environment for current and future generations through innovative and excellent science and thriving partnerships. The Toxics Studies Unit conducts long term monitoring/assessment and environmental forensics studies for toxics and toxins across the state.

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people.

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.

An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.

Continuous growth and development opportunities.

A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.

Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.

Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.

Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.

Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.

Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.

We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued.

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is part of the modern work environment; there will be a combination of telework, fieldwork and in office work. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing.

Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of March 21, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before March 20, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.



What makes this role unique?

This role will require excellent stakeholder coordination, project management, communication, and strong time management skills to successfully find a balance between leading aquatic survey projects and providing technical support to regional stakeholders (with support and approval of supervisor). This position will require traveling long distances statewide in a pickup truck with boat in tow, and working in rugged and sometimes remote field locations on inland waterbodies under adverse weather conditions for consecutive days at a time.

What you will do:

Lead aquatic plant field assessments:

Use scientific expertise to plan, prioritize, and conduct field sampling and onsite visits statewide

Maintain a tracking system for exotic, invasive aquatic weeds

Serve as the agency’s research expert in freshwater aquatic plants:

Provide scientific expertise for other agencies, local governments, lakes groups and the general public regarding high priority aquatic plant ecology and taxonomy issues, aquatic plant management

Develop integrated aquatic plant management plans and other aquatic plant management issues including relevant permits and funding opportunities

Analyze, report, and technical review:

Analyze data and prepare scientific and technical reports for publication.

Assist with rating and ranking Freshwater Aquatic Weeds Program grant applications and early infestation grant applications submitted by local and state governments

Coordinate activities with other related monitoring and aquatic plant activities (grant administration/technical outreach, environmental education, and citizen monitoring positions)

Prepare and publish articles in scientific peer-reviewed journals, and present papers to the scientific community at conferences as primary or co-author.


Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.

Option 1:

A Bachelor’s degree with major study in botany, limnology, environmental science, aquatic ecology, chemistry, or other closely allied field.


Four years-professional work experience in the identification and assessment of aquatic invasive species in freshwater ecosystems.

Option 2:

A Master’s degree with major study in botany, limnology, environmental science, aquatic ecology, chemistry, or other closely allied field.


Two years-professional work experience in the identification and assessment of aquatic invasive species in freshwater ecosystems.

Option 3:

A Ph.D. with a major study in aquatic ecology or other closely allied field.


One year of professional research work experience in the identification and assessment of aquatic invasive species in freshwater ecosystems.

Desired Qualifications:

We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

Experience in communicating with staff, internal clients, stakeholders, and management to define project scopes, study designs, and project deliverables.

Expertise in the identification, management, and eradication of aquatic invasive vegetation

Experience in towing and operating boats on lakes

Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply:

Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.

A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.

Three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc.

Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded.

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees: 

Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

Other Information:

If you have specific questions about the position, please email James Medlen at: Please do not contact James to inquire about the status of your application.

To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth *See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Bachelors Degree, Masters, Doctoral

Experience Level : Mid to Senior Level

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